Jim Trott, the Executive Director and founder of the Brass for Africa charity has been awarded the MBE in the Queen's New Years Honours.
The airline pilot founded the organisation in 2009, and which today employs 45 staff from the communities it works in within regions of Uganda, Rwanda and Liberia.
Over 1,000 youngsters have benefited from educational programmes which now include twice weekly music lessons as well as broad platform of social awareness issues surrounding equality, disability inclusion, work place readiness and community engagement.
Long term impact
It is this aspect which Jim feels is making the greatest long term impact. "We are not just getting youngsters to enjoy playing musical instruments. We are giving people life skills and hopefully opening doors that will see them help broaden opportunities within their communities."
There is also an international scope to the work, with Jim particularly proud that the charity's link to the Corps of Army Music in the UK has seen four young men join the British Army.
"To see them graduate into the Corps of Army Music was a wonderful endorsement of their talent and the benefits of the connection we have made. We are hopeful others will follow in their footsteps, but we are also thrilled that so many of our students are now going on to make a huge difference in their local and regional communities."
He added: "The focus of our works has broadened over the years with issues such as female equality, disability inclusion, autism and HIV outreach forming central stanchions on which we now try to make a difference.
The resilience and commitment of those we work with has helped fuel what we hope will become a transformational process in these areas."
The focus of our works has broadened over the years with issues such as female equality, disability inclusion, autism and HIV outreach forming central stanchions on which we now try to make a differenceJim Trott
Further endorsement of the work undertaken by Brass for Africa has come with the release of the film 'TOPOWA!' which has been screened as part of the famous Raindance Film Festival, as well as the support that continues from a growing list of long term supporters and sponsors.
Jim added: "2020 has been a year of immense challenges, especially in the communities in which Brass for Africa is based, but that amazing resilience of everyone involved has seen us through.
I'm very honoured to receive the MBE — but even more proud that in reality it is recognition of the dedication and commitment of everyone who has played a part in Brass for Africa's success."
Jim received notification of his award at the beginning of December and now hopes to be able to receive the MBE later this year.
"Due to Covid-19 I was notified by e-mail. We have been informed that it is hoped that an appropriate presentation will be made in 2021, but as to when I'm not quite sure as yet."